Monday, January 25, 2010

Acres of Alliums

Okay, it isn't really acres.  In fact, our total growing area is probably less than a quarter-acre.  But I couldn't resist a bit of alliteration.  "Many square feet of onions" didn't grab me as a good post title.  Anyway, we have planted a lot of onion family (aka Allium) plants this season.  At least, it seems like a lot to me.  Many more than last year.

First it was 200 cloves of garlic back in October.  Nine different varieties.  We ordered two sampler packs from Bob Anderson, self-proclaimed Garlicmeister, of Gourmet Garlic Gardens in Bangs, Texas.  A box arrived full of little brown paper bags holding garlic heads (bulbs) of various varieties.  I sure wish I had taken a photo.

We split the heads up into individual cloves and planted the largest ones according to Bob's detailed instructions.  After a week or so, we started to see little greens shoots poking up through the mulch.  Now there is a little forest of garlic tops.  They are all varieties suited to our hot, humid, short-day climate; each one should form a nice head of garlic cloves.  We will harvest some green, before they fully mature, and leave the rest to mature in early summer.

Bob's website is fun, sprawling and colorful - check it out for interesting information about garlic cultivation, cooking, health benefits, medical uses, and history.  He ships garlic heads for eating, too; if you are a garlic fanatic, try ordering one of his samplers and taste some of his varieties for yourself.

Stay tuned for Episode 2: Scallions and Shallots and Onions, Oh My!

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